Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Cynthia Mosser

Swirl Egg, orange/blue, 16" x 11"
Melon Pop, 48" x 48"
Portland, Oregon artist Cynthia Mosser has been a long time creative, knowing at an early age that drawing and painting was her first love.  She took classes in whatever creative outlet she could, testing ceramics and photography along the way.  Once she reached college, the practical side came into play with a major in art history and minor in biology, yet these aspects play heavily into Cynthia's work now.  A few years at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn rounded out Cynthia's formal training before she delved into mixed media work on her own.  

It was her desire to combine the natural, physical depth of mediums with the organic shapes in nature that drew her to take a class in mixed media.  Encaustic has been around for centuries, but bringing the medium into her own work and defining her playful, colorful style with visual and physical depth meant taking her art to a new level.
Swirl Egg, red, 28" x 18"

In Cynthia's practice, she makes her own gesso, the traditional gesso with marble dust and rabbit skin glue.  After it has dried, she draws on the surface with india ink pens and paints using small 20/0 rounds and acrylic paints.  Leaving spaces, Cynthia layers on encaustic medium, a hot wax medium, with natural hair flat bristle brushes.  The encaustics soak down into unpainted areas and coat the acrylics.  Layers later, the painting has evolved depth of it's own.  Using natural bristle brushes with encaustics is ideal, as they lay the medium down smoothly on the surface without brush marks and require little maintenance between painting sessions.  
Sugar Sky, 48" x 48"

Cynthia also works alternatively in gouache, using similar brushes as she does with the acrylic layers in her mixed media work -- very small synthetic rounds.  These rounds hold a large amount of paint for their size and keep a sharp point for detailing. 

It has been said that Cynthia's work is the answer to Portland's rainy days.  Although I don't know Portland, I can say that her whimsical, moving works drew me in and I look forward to seeing them in person.  The Augen Gallery in Portland will unveil a show of Cynthia's work in July, but to see more of her stuff, check out her online gallery and blog.

Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.